Broomsquires Literature: 1907 The Laws of England

A unique set of antique legal reference books dating from the early 20th Century…

The Right Honourable The Earl of Halsbury (Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, 1885-6, 1886-92, 1895-1905) – lead contributor to The Laws of England 1907.

At Broomsquires we have been thrilled to chance upon a rather unique piece of legal historical record – a 31-volume set of legal reference books from early last century…

The Laws of England 1907 is a comprehensive, Edwardian collection of legal knowledge and case law precedent which would have been essential to any practice of the era.  As much of English law is based on verdicts made in previous relevant cases, it was fundamental to any lawyer to have access to such information.

Kept under lock and key in a dust-free environment, Broomsquires have taken every care to preserve this collection as it stands.  (Vols 1 to 14 shown out of 31).

Indeed, this particular vellum-bound, gold-inscribed ‘database’ has been stamped with the library mark of Ward & Hamill Solicitors of Dundalk (dated 22nd December 1917).

With learned contributors hailing from far and wide within the contemporary legal profession, these tomes are an invaluable fount of knowledge – as well as being a fascinating historical snapshot into societal dynamics of the early 20th Century.

The Cochineal Purple stamp belonging to the books’ first owners appears in much of the collection, which would have been an expensive but vital addition to the practice’s law library.

On the subject of standard time as accepted within evidence:-

Besides the Earl of Halsbury, many other eminent contemporary lawyers donated their expertise to their particular legal specialisms.

‘Any expression of time in Acts of Parliament, deeds, and other legal instruments means, in the case of Great Britain, Greenwich mean time, and in the case of Ireland, Dublin mean time, unless otherwise specifically stated… but judicial notice is taken, if necessary, of the fact that a place lies east or west of Greenwich, and therefore has a different time from Greenwich time…, though not of the times at which the sun rises and sets…’*.

Covering everything from Sheriffs & Bailiffs to Shipping; Intoxicating Liquors to Libel & Slander; Criminal Law to Ecclesiastical Law, the well-preserved set would sit well in any solicitor’s office or barrister’s chambers.  It could even prove an invaluable addition to any university library.

Priced competitively at £1,000 (near offers accepted) this stunning collection of legal history is available in our online auction house here



[Credits:  Featured image – The Earl of Halsbury signed image (The Laws of England 1907 Vol. 1, Butterworth & Co, 1910)]

* The Laws of England 1907 Vol. 13 – Equity to Evidence, Butterworth & Co, 1910.


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